Canucks 6 Oilers 1
VANCOUVER — Daniel Sedin continued his dominance against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, but even he was outdone by teammate Ryan Kesler.
Sedin broke the game open with a pair of goals early in the second period, and Kesler put it away late by completing his second hat trick of the season during Vancouver’s 6-1 rout of Edmonton.
The top team in the NHL won in front of a raucous sellout crowd of 18,810 at Rogers Arena.
Sedin’s goals came during a dominant six-minute six-second span early in the second period that saw the Canucks score on their first three shots of the frame.
Kesler also scored during that outburst, and added two more in the third period as Vancouver (27-8-5) improved to 13-0-2 in its past 15 games — the best stretch in franchise history — and maintained its hold atop the NHL standings with 59 points.
Alexander Edler also scored for Vancouver, while Henrik Sedin added three assists as the Canucks won their eighth straight.
Ales Hemsky replied for Edmonton (13-20-7), which couldn’t build on the momentum of Thursday’s 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders. The Oilers have lost eight of their past nine games.
Kesler had no career hat tricks entering this season, and wasn’t having much luck early in the campaign breaking the trend. Twice he had two-goal games — one in Ottawa and one in Toronto — and both times he hit the post on his attempt for a third goal.
The 26-year-old centre finally broke through on Dec. 15 against Columbus, scoring all of Vancouver’s goals in a 3-2 victory.
Kesler had no problem scoring three on Friday.
Kesler used his patented wrist shot to make it 2-0, deflected a Dan Hamhuis shot to make it 4-1, then tipped in a power-play point shot for a 5-1 lead.
“It’s happening for me right now, I’m just having fun with this,” Kesler said to the cheers of the crowd after the game.
Prior to Kesler’s heroics it was the Sedins who were stealing the show.
Edmonton has been a favourite target for Daniel Sedin over the years. The sniper now has 29 goals in 58 games against the Oilers, his best total against any NHL team.
As usual, it was Henrik Sedin who did the playmaking, feeding his twin brother perfect passes on each of the goals. The first came on a give and go 30 seconds into the second period, and the second on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 to give the Canucks a 3-0 lead at 6:36 of the middle frame.
At the other end, Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider was impressive in his fifth start in the past eight games.
Schneider was confident, read the play well and was always in position in improving to 8-0-2 this season.
He robbed Taylor Hall on a point-blank chance with the game still scoreless, Hemsky on a breakaway and then made a spectacular glove save off a Dustin Penner one-timer from the side of the net with the Oilers enjoying a 4-on-3 man advantage.
The lone puck to beat him came with 0.3 seconds left in the second period, as Hemsky jammed the puck past his pad at the side of the net to make it 3-1.
Edler scored a late power-play goal to round out the scoring.
NOTES: Alex Burrows played his 400th career game, recording an assist. He has 192 points (93 goals, 99 assists). … Schneider didn’t record a point on Friday, but is tops among goaltenders with three assists this season. … Edmonton’s Gilbert Brule, who had goals in two straight games, did not play after suffering a chest injury against New York on Thursday. … The Canucks scratched C Alex Bolduc and put winger Aaron Volpatti in the lineup. Tanner Glass, usually a left winger, took Bolduc’s spot at centre on the fourth line.